Republican presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSanders calls out Manchin, Sinema ahead of filibuster showdown Laura Ingraham 'not saying' if she'd support Trump in 2024 The Hill's 12:30 Report: Djokovic may not compete in French Open over vaccine requirement MORE on Wednesday chalked up recent attacks by rival Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGolden State Warriors owner says 'nobody cares' about Uyghurs All hostages free, safe after hours-long standoff at Texas synagogue: governor Overnight Energy & Environment — Lummis holds up Biden EPA picks MORE to the Texas senator’s "tanking" poll numbers.
“He is a liar and these ads and statements made by Cruz are clearly desperate moves by a guy who is tanking in the polls — watching his campaign go up in flames finally explains Cruz’s logo,” Trump said in a statement obtained by The Hill.
The billionaire businessman dismissed Cruz’s accusations that Trump supports abortion rights and opposes gun rights.
“I am pro-life and I do not support tax payer funding for Planned Parenthood as long as they are performing abortions,” he said in the statement. “I am also a strong advocate of the [National Rifle Association], as are my sons.”
Trump also renewed his threat to file a defamation lawsuit against Cruz over the attacks and said such a suit would be “legitimate.”
“If I want to bring a lawsuit, it would be legitimate,” he said, adding that he is also considering bringing Canadian-born Cruz to court to challenge his eligibility to be president.
Cruz at a press conference on Wednesday accused Trump of “bullying others and threatening frivolous lawsuits.”
The Cruz event came after the Trump campaign sent a cease-and-desist letter over an ad in which the businessman calls himself “very pro-choice.”
New polls released on Wednesday show Cruz trailing Trump by double digits in South Carolina ahead of the state’s Feb. 20 primary.